I really wanted to like this book. Really, I did. I plodded along until the end, hoping that the answer to the riddle would end up being worth all the difficulty of reading it. Unfortunately, it didn’t, but I am getting ahead of myself.
[amazon_link id="B006QNNI18" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Faith [/amazon_link]by John Love had a lot of promise for a science fiction fan. Futuristic technology, alien cultures, and a ship — named Faith by the aliens that first encountered it — that attacks planets for a reason no one can determine. In order to combat Faith, the Commonwealth created the Outsiders, ships with technology never before seen, crewed by the outcast of society. If any ship can defeat Faith, the Outsiders can.
Unfortunately, the negatives in this book far outweigh the positives. For example, the ship we follow is named the Charles Manson. The crew are not just misfits, they’re unlovable misfits. It’s all but impossible to create any sort of emotional connection with these characters. When one of them suicides on the bridge, the commander leaves his blood and brains on his consoles. In another scene, when the Commander is trying to return to his ship through a demonstration at the starport, one of his crew shoots and kills a civilian official, and the Commander does nothing about it. Faith (or perhaps the author) also seems to have a fascination with… well… excrement. In at least two scenes I can think of off the top of my head, the mysterious enemy ship dumps this… stuff on its opponents.
The Outsiders are run by an arm of the Commonwealth that’s only known as the Department of Administrative Affairs, a mysterious group who only communicates by voice, and through archaic stand microphones on the bridge of each Outsider. The officer in command of the ships are called “Commander,” because it’s the Department that’s the real Captain. At one point in the book it looks like the crew of the Charles Manson might actually start a fight against this regime, but it never happens in the book, so the “misfits fighting against the society that threw them out” concept never really comes into play.
It’s also really hard to blame the Commonwealth for removing these people from society; with one possible exception, they’ve all committed serious crimes, and I saw very little remorse for their actions. Yes, they remember what they did to end up on the Charles Manson, but that’s about the extent of it. These are likely seriously mentally ill people, yet instead of being cared for as we would hope an advanced civilization –you’d think that by the time we discover interstellar travel, we’ll have figured out how to cure these sorts of illnesses — they’re sent out along with a group of other people just as disturbed as they are, to be cannon fodder against what many believe is an indestructible ship.
As I said at the start, if the answers about the ship called Faith had been interesting enough, I could have forgiven a lot of the above. But it doesn’t. I won’t give it away, but I found the way the book ended to be highly unsatisfying, leaving me with a “I went through all those pages for that?” sort of feeling.
We sort of have an unwritten rule here at OG, we don’t write negative reviews of the books we encounter but don’t care for. I know in my explorations of free Kindle books I’ve discovered many that weren’t even worth that price, but I haven’t sat down to review all of those. However, we’ve decided that we’re going to review this one, as a way of warning people not to waste their money on it.
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